Christmas Music Can Be Drilling

| VA, USA | Working | December 23, 2016

(I am getting my wisdom teeth removed right before Christmas, as I’m on break for college. The practice has three dentists, all with Jewish names.)

Nurse: “Okay, we’ll give the shots a little while to work and then once you’re numb we can begin.”

(A few minutes pass, and we wait quietly while the radio plays carols in the office.)

Me: *drooling* “Okay, I’m definitely numb now.”

Dentist: “Great!”

(He reclines my chair, adjusts his glasses, and picks up a drill. I open my mouth.)

Dentist: “You know, I swear, if I hear any more of this d*** Christmas music, I’m going to kill someone!”

(He turns on the drill.)

Getting Them To Clean Is Like Pulling Teeth

| Greece | Right | October 14, 2016

(I am a dentistry student. I have a patient who has severe problems with personal hygiene. She was assigned to me in my first year of practice because of faculty misjudgment. Her BO is so bad I have to work with a facial mask sprayed with disinfectant spray. Before Christmas, I give my patient a dental cleaning, removing year’s’ worth or tartar plaque, and accidentally get some blood on her shirt. She also seems to have gotten some liquid paper in her hair. She comes back after Christmas, a month after the last appointment, with the same amount of plaque in her mouth.)

Me: “Excuse me, but how much time do you usually take to brush your teeth?”

Patient: “Uh… half an hour.” *blank stare*

Me: “Uh. Do you mean maybe, half a minute?”

Patient: “Yes, yes. That.” *blank stare*

Me: “Oh.”

(And right after that, I notice the stain I gave her, still on her shirt, as well as the liquid paper in her hair.)

How Very Childish

| Saskatoon, SK, Canada | Working | October 5, 2016

(I make an appointment for myself and my wife I at a dentist we’ve never been to before. When we arrive…)

Receptionist: “Oh! You’re not children!”

Me: “No… When I called, I made appointments for myself and my wife, so I didn’t think I needed to specify that we’re not children.”

Receptionist: “Oh, well, adults need longer appointments! Luckily we can fit you in.”

Me: “Good.”

(It just went downhill from there. The dentist himself was great, but his staff were awful, rude, and disorganized. We never went back!)

A Dent In Your Dentures

| Greece | Right | September 26, 2016

(I am a student in dentistry, and I have patients of my own during university hours. I am fully responsible for their treatment, as well as their financial transactions with the university. I am not capable of giving any kind of discount. Students are expected to pay any debt of their patients in order to graduate. Faculty members make sure that we know this is the case. This is a particularly unpleasant patient, who gradually starts complaining about any work I do, despite my best efforts and faculty members fully approving of the quality of my work. Dealing with her, even over the phone, makes my stomach turn from anxiety.)

Patient: “[My Name], the dentures you made me are no good. When I press on the side like that, they come off!” *the patient proceeds to press with her finger in a way that can by no means occurs while chewing*

Me: “The dentures have to come off one way or another, like a shoe. If they didn’t come off at all they wouldn’t be dentures, after all.”

(The patient frowns and obviously does not believe me, despite faculty members backing me up.)

Patient: “[My Name], the dentures you made me are clicking. That’s unacceptable!”

(After I examine her, it turns out it was a natural sound from her TMJ. After I explain this, and show her that her clicking continued with no dentures on, she still looks really upset.)

Patient: “Well, my mouth still tastes terrible when I wake up! It’s because of these bridges! You made them so I can’t clean between my teeth!”

(The patient’s main concern when she first came was the bitter taste in her mouth. The patient has insisted for two years that her blood sugar, a prime cause of bad taste, is on regular levels. A faculty member has me order some blood tests, including blood sugar levels. Despite her adamantly denying it, they turned out to be high enough to explain the symptoms. I book a last appointment for her, to get the remaining amount of money to pay the school and our dental technician. I explain over the phone I need [Amount #1] for school, and [Amount #2] for the technician. Because of a wrong addition, I had underestimated the amount of money when I had to inform her about the total cost of the treatment. I have made clear I volunteered to pay this amount myself, knowing she had financial difficulties. I also gave her the dentures before she paid the full amount, just to get her to stop bugging me, which was a mistake. When she comes for the appointment:)

Me: “Your blood sugar levels are probably the reason for the bad taste you have, not the bridges or dentures.”

(The patient looks at a loss, as she has no grounds to blame me further for anything.)

Me: “So, now I would like to discuss the financial part—”

Patient: “I have no money for you.”

Me: “But, I told you how we need to pay off the university [Amount #1] euros, and the technician [Amount #2] euros! It’s the end of the year, so I can’t postpone it any longer for you.”

Patient: “What? You only said [Amount #3] euros over the phone! This is unacceptable! I am not paying anything. The work you gave me is unacceptable.”

Me: “Please leave now.”

Patient: “What? And what am I to do if I have any problems?”

Me: “I do not care. Please leave now. I don’t care about the money. I’ll pay myself if it means I get to graduate and never see you again. So, leave, because I have to tend to other patients.”

(Her look of disbelief and the sight of her leaving was worth every euro… and it was a few hundred of them, too. The technician was understanding and was already partially paid, so he let it slide and assured me I could do nothing more, as he had met her and saw how rude and suspicious she was.)

Numb To Your Pain

| Gainesville, FL, USA | Working | September 20, 2016

(I go to my usual dentist to get a tooth removed, as I was born without an adult tooth beneath it and it has started to decay. My father drives me as I am a little worried about the procedure; the tooth is fairly painful at this point. A hygienist I am not familiar with comes in to get me ready.)

Hygienist #1: “Hey, okay, we’re just going to load you up with the painkillers now. Open up!”

Me: “I need to warn you, I might swear like a sailor. That needle looks a LOT bigger from this angle.”

Hygienist #1: “Don’t worry, I don’t mind. All right, here we go!”

(He forcefully turns my head to the side to get a better look at his target and jabs the needle in fairly hard. I let out a rather pathetic yelp.)

Hygienist #1: “Aw, come on now! All done! See you in five minutes!”

(After a few minutes I start to realize something is wrong. My heart is racing and my entire body has mild tremors that will not stop, and I’m beginning to feel chilled. I sit up and start trying to put on my jacket but I’m shaking too much.)

Hygienist #1: “Hey, lie back down!”

Me: “So-so-something’s w-wr-wr-wrong.”

Hygienist #1: “Oh, pooh, you’re fine! Let’s see how that numbing solution is going!” *pushes me back down and physically wrenches open my mouth and starts poking gums with a sharp instrument* “Can you feel that at all?”

Me: “Y-Yes! And i-it hurts!”

Hygienist #1: “Fine, let’s give you some more you big baby. How old are you anyway?”

Me: “18.”

Hygienist #: “You’re much too old to be such a wimp at this, really. Open!” *repeats the same rough treatment as before, this time giving me an THREE doses* “I’ll be back in five minutes. After that, I’m getting the dentist to rip that tooth out, numb or not! You’re our wasting time, missy.”

(The trembling increases this time until I am unable to sit up properly or stand without collapsing. I’m terrified that I am having an allergic reaction as the entire side of my head has gone numb with a pulsing pain in my jaw, and there are now patches of skin along my arm and leg that have started to go numb as well. Thankfully Hygienist #2, who usually cleans my teeth, is walking by and spots me trying to stagger away from the chair.)

Hygienist #2: “Oh, my god, [My Name]! Are you okay?! I thought you were just coming in to get your tooth pulled!”

Me: “I a-a-am. I th-th-thin-nk I’m reah-reacting to the num-num-”

Hygienist #2: “Oh, boy! Okay, honey, I’m going to check your pulse here for a second. Who was administering it? How much did they give you?” *she sits me down on the floor and sits next to me, comforting me as I’m generally freaking out at this point*

Me: “Th-That ne-new gu-guy, he-he gave m-me one th-then th-th-three mo-more.”

Hygienist #2: *suddenly has an expression that is a cross between ‘oh s***’ and ‘I’ll kill him’* “All right, sweetie, I’m going to go get your dad for you and then we’re going to get you to a hospital, all right? Your heart is beating way too fast. Don’t worry, it’s going to be okay.”

(We came back the next day after I had recovered so I could talk to the head dentist. When I explained what had happened, including the rough treatment, the dentist fired Hygienist #1 on the spot. Apparently he had been rough before, but in this occasion he had injected the painkiller directly into one of my veins instead of the surrounding area, and since it is epinephrine/adrenaline based it caused my tremors and my lovely 220 bpm resting heart rate. Giving me a triple dose after I exhibited the signs of my system being overloaded with adrenaline was a BIG no-no, and Hygienist #2 got employee of the year for helping me cope!)

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